English / The Most Dangerous Game

The Most Dangerous Game

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Autor:  anton  23 December 2010
Tags:  Dangerous
Words: 807   |   Pages: 4
Views: 331

Fears in The Most Dangerous Game

Zaroff, is sick, demented , and mentally unstable . Any one who

chooses to read Richard Connell's "The Most dangerous Game", will

agree with this conclusion. Hunting animals is one thing, but to hunt

humans? Still, one would expect that he wouldn't be as successful

against humans as animals. Humans are clearly not as powerful as some

game, but their ability to think, to reason, and to strategize, more

than over comes this trivial factor. Then why has no one been able to

defeat this old general? The answer is clear: fear. Fear is such a

powerful force, that no amount of intellect or strength can supersede

it. It blinded the others Zaroff had hunted, causing them to panic and

not think straight, making it easier for Zaroff to hunt him down. It

even blinded the animals. One might think, how can animals fear? As

Rainsford says, " They've no understanding." Whitney counter with,

""Even so, I rather think they understand one thing--fear. The fear of

pain and the fear of death." That is how Zaroff is able to win. Zaroff

is able to imbed to types of fear in to those he hunts. The fear of

the known and the fear of the unknown. He takes these two types fears,

and manipulates them so that they appease his sick and twisted hobby,

hunting man.

In the beginning of the short story, when Rainsford talks with his

hunting companion Whitney, the first type of fear is introduced; the

fear of the unknown. Whitney tells Rainsford that the island has an

"evil name among seafaring men". When asked by Whitney if he feels

anything, Rainsford goes on to say that" What I felt was a--a mental

chill; a sort of sudden dread". Why the dread? It is a result of the

fear of the unknown. It is late at night, quite dark outside, and the

two friends stumble upon the subject of a mysterious island during

their conversation, which sailors seemingly dread. In addition, the

mystery surrounding this island intrigues Rainsford, but at the same

time makes him a bit fearful of it. As he said, it was "a mental

chill", all inside his head. Then he lands on that very island, and

meets General Zaroff. This leads to his finding out that Zaroff hunts

men, and ends up being hunted by the general.Rainsford, after trekking

his way through the jungle, is resting on a tree, when he hears a

rustling sound. It is Zaroff. But it was "only by the merest chance"

that he was not spotted by the general, who with a smile turned

around, and went in another direction. This bothers Rainsford." It

sent a shudder of cold horror through his whole being. Why had the

general smiled? Why had he turned back?". He's in the dark when it

comes to knowing anything about Zaroff's intentions. Knowing his is a

sly and devious hunter, he is horrified for he knows not what to

expect from the cunning Cossack. Zaroff nearly has Rainsford, as the

fear of the unknown settles in.

Right after that scene , the second from of fear is introduced, the

fear of the known. Shortly after being frightened and confused by the

generals actions, Rainsford reaches a conclusion. " The Cossack was

the cat; he was the mouse." Zaroff had been playing with him, and

Rainsford was more then just a little worried . It was then that

Rainsford knew the full meaning of terror." He is on to Zaroff's

motives, and is scared out ofhis wits, which is exactly what Zaroff

wants. He had done it to the countless others he had hunted. Scared

them, make them feel as though there was no hope, which in result,

caused them to loose their lives. No one had ever been able to over

come this fear of the known. Rainsford later proves to be the

exception. He knows what is happening and tries to keep his cool. "I

will not lose my nerve. I will not.", he says to himself, and indeed

he succeeds. He gathers his wits about himself, and sets out to do the

impossible, beat Zaroff at his own game. And indeed, in the end, it is

Rainsford who truly triumphs over Zaroff , eliminating his most

powerful weapon, fear.

Going on the words of the Franklin D. Roosevelt, " There is nothing

to fear but fear itself." Zaroff must have known the power which one's

own fear holds, for throughout the story he uses it unfairly to his

advantage . Zaroff strikes first with the fear of the unknown ,

through Whitney's stories about a mysterious island and it dangers. At

one point the fear of the known, that the general creates, in

Rainsford takes such a strong hold over his mind, that he allows the

fear to completely consume him. Yet he gathers up enough will power to

push those thoughts away, and concentrate on the then and now. That is

the only reason he is able to defeat Zaroff at his own game.

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